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Wests Tigers can confirm that Pat Richards will leave the Club at the conclusion of the 2015 National Rugby League season.

Richards will take up an opportunity to finish his career in Super League with French outfit, the Catalans Dragons.

The 33-year-old winger, who was part of the 2005 premiership-winning side, returned to the Club last season following on from an eight-year stint with the Wigan Warriors.

Richards said that whilst he is disappointed to be leaving Wests Tigers, the opportunity to finish his playing career in France is one that is exciting for both himself and his family.

“The opportunity to come back to the Wests Tigers has been great and I’ve really enjoyed it,” said Richards. “I loved playing for the Club again — it’s been outstanding — and it’s just another opportunity for me now to live in another place and experience another culture, and that’s something I’m looking forward to.

“I’d like to thank all the Wests Tigers fans and teammates over the last two years, for welcoming me back after being away for so long.

“My main focus remains on finishing the year off strongly with Wests Tigers.”

Wests Tigers Interim CEO and General Manager of Football Operations Phil Moss thanked Richards for his services to Wests Tigers during his time at the Club.

“I would like to commend Pat on his contributions to the Club over the past two seasons,” Moss said. “He has been a great servant to the Wests Tigers since returning from Super League.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose a player of his calibre but due to our current salary cap situation, we were unable to make an offer to re-sign Pat.

“We wish Pat well in the next chapter of his career.”

Head Coach Jason Taylor also praised Richards’ for contributions to Wests Tigers.

“We are all really excited for Patty,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for him and he’s been an absolute pleasure to coach.”

“He has been a great guy to have at the Club and his professionalism is second to none.

“We wish Pat all the best when he departs for Catalans at end of the year.”

Richards has played a total of 111 NRL games to date, including 74 for Wests Tigers and 37 for Parramatta.